Boat­ies urged to take care

Te Awamutu Courier - - News -

Mar­itime NZ is urg­ing boat­ies to take care on the wa­ter dur­ing the hol­i­days.

Mar­itime NZ di­rec­tor Keith Manch says the safety au­thor­ity is con­tin­u­ing to push it mes­sage that com­pla­cency or lack of care can end in dis­as­ter.

“In tak­ing a few sim­ple steps, boat­ies can help keep them­selves, their friends and loved ones safer,” he says.

This sum­mer’s cam­paign — ‘no­body’s faster than dis­as­ter’ — re­in­forces the mes­sages in the Boat­ing Safety Code to help keep safety top of mind through­out the sea­son.

This code has been de­vel­oped by the 23 boat­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions, busi­nesses and gov­ern­ment agen­cies that make up the Safer Boat­ing Fo­rum.

“While all of these mes­sages are equally im­por­tant, we are putting par­tic­u­lar em­pha­sis this year on the use of mar­itime VHF ra­dio and main­tain­ing good life­jacket be­hav­iour,” Keith says.

“Car­ry­ing a VHF ra­dio is your res­cue net­work at sea. Your call can be heard by many peo­ple at the same time and the dis­tress chan­nel — chan­nel 16 is mon­i­tored 24/7.

Mar­itime NZ is cur­rently run­ning a multi-me­dia ad cam­paign in­clud­ing a TV ad based on the real res­cue of three boat­ies in July this year.

They used VHF ra­dio to alert au­thor­i­ties that they needed help and were safely res­cued.

“We are also en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to be vig­i­lant with their life­jack­ets. Just wear­ing one isn’t enough and they need to be checked reg­u­larly to en­sure they’re safe.”

Mar­itime NZ is con­tin­u­ing fund­ing Coast­guard’s Old4New life­jacket up­grade cam­paign so boat­ies can trade in their old life­jacket for a dis­count on a new one.

This year $70,000 has gone to­wards up­grad­ing 4000 old life­jack­ets to new ones.

“We en­cour­age boat­ies to keep an eye out for their van that is tour­ing the coun­try, vis­it­ing 56 lo­ca­tions this sum­mer,” Keith says.

“If you miss the van, you can still re­ceive the of­fer at par­tic­i­pat­ing re­tail­ers.”

“Wear your life­jacket — this is the sin­gle most im­por­tant thing to do to help keep your­self safer on the wa­ter.” Boat­ing Safety Code:

- Take two wa­ter­proof ways to call for help — if you can’t tell some­one you are in trou­ble, then no one can res­cue you.

- Check the ma­rine weather fore­cast — it is not the same as land and gen­eral fore­casts. The weather will be dif­fer­ent on the wa­ter.

- Avoid al­co­hol — you know not to drink and drive — it’s the same on a boat.

- Be a re­spon­si­ble skip­per — the skip­per is legally re­spon­si­ble for the safety of the boat and ev­ery­one on board.

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